Monday, May 30, 2011

Warmongering

When the history books are written, the United States' military action in Libya may go down as the worst use of U.S. military power in history. The White House has never offered a proper justification for initiating strikes against Libya, the action was unconstitutional (and even violated the War Powers Act, which is on questionable constitutional ground itself), and as it turns out, many of the rebels that the action was ostensibly in support of are tied to al-qaida (I thought they were the bad guys). Regardless of the ultimate success of the military action (if there ever can be success, since there do not seem to be any set goals), our actions in Libya are an embarrassment to anyone who holds a true conservative or libertarian point of view.

However, to many in this country, there is no such thing as a bad war. According to Arizona Senator John McCain, the only problem in Libya is that we didn't hit 'em hard and fast enough:

"This thing could have been over a long time ago if we had brought the full weight of American air power to bear on him."
Many people in this country, be they in positions of power or not, are addicted to war. I understand that McCain is a combat veteran and former POW, but that does not grant him the moral authority to continue to throw innocent American lives into the war machine.

I'm going to admit that once, not so very long ago, I thought it was awesome that I lived in a country that could kick anyone's ass, and found it even cooler when we did so. However, over the past few years, I have begun to question why this is so awesome. Acting as the world's police force swallows a huge amount of capital that could be better spent, costs Americans their lives, often in conflicts that we have no direct interest in, and makes us look like a global bully. And I have come to recognize the wisdom of the original framers of this nation, who cautioned against having a standing army (the Articles of Confederation specifically prohibited it). The problem with a huge military is that you tend to use it, even when it is not necessary.

So I have a response to Sen. McCain: this thing could have been over even sooner if we hadn't pulled the trigger.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Half a billion here, half a billion there...

... and before long, you're talking about real money:

"Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told CNSNews.com on Wednesday that the administration’s new $500 million early learning initiative is designed to deal with children from birth onward to prevent such problems as 5-year olds who “can’t sit still” in a kindergarten classroom."
So, the Obama administration pisses away your money on bullshit that has nothing to do with the federal government's constitutional mission. In other news, rain is wet, the sun is hot, and airline food is sub-standard.

Seriously, sometimes you just run out of juice commenting on this type of idiocy. If you support this kind of federal spending, you are a moron, and probably can't understand the big words I tend to use anyway.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A post in which I attempt to alienate my few remaining Republican friends...

The House has decided to get tough and refuse to allow the Senate to go into recess next week. This will prevent our benevolent leader from making recess appointments of left-wing progressives, as he did with Craig Becker at the NLRB and Donald Berwick at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services. Over at Ace of Spades, this action is being celebrated, and it's easy to see why: Becker and Berwick, along with their ilk, are a cancer to this country, and the fewer of them in positions of power, the better. And it is highly unlikely that, given the chance, Obama will not take the opportunity to stuff executive offices with still more petty tyrants.

Here, however, is where I will part ways, yet again, with my Republican countrymen. This may be a smart procedural move, and it may prevent a few evil men from taking positions of power (temporarily), but it does nothing to further the causes of liberty and small government in the long term. In fact, I can guarantee three things that will follow from this action:
  1. The majority of media outlets, fulfilling their role as propaganda agents for the Democratic party, will portray this as Republican obstructionism in an attempt to help the White House. The American public, being mostly stupid, ignorant, or both, will largely buy the hype.
  2. The Democrats will retaliate with procedural tricks of their own, and the same people who celebrated this action will scream UNFAIR! when the Democrats do it.
  3. Obama will eventually have someone confirmed by the Senate to the posts he may or may not have filled in recess. These people will be just as bad as whoever would have been recess-appointed. The majority of media outlets, fulfilling their role as propaganda agents for the Democratic party, will suppress damning facts about these candidates, and the American public, being mostly stupid, ignorant, or both, will agree not to ask too many questions.
So, what is the solution? I'm so glad you asked. The way I see it, Craig Becker can't be named as head of the National Labor Relations Board if the NLRB doesn't exist. The actual root cause of the whole problem isn't that petty tyrants exist, it's that there are positions of power for them to gravitate towards. That is why these agencies did not exist in 1789 when Washington took office. As it turns out, we aren't in need of the 'right person' for these positions - it's that we are all better off if the office remains vacant.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Foundations of Liberty

Arguably the biggest influence on the United States' founders was seventeenth century political philosopher John Locke. In his Second Treatise of Government, Locke outlines his views on liberty:
"To understand political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider, what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man"
When Locke refers to 'its original' he is referring to natural law, the law that the Apostle Paul writes is written on our hearts, and that C.S. Lewis uses as an argument for the existence of God in Mere Christianity. Locke understood that the natural state of man is freedom, and that the only law which government should attend to is that which protects its citizen's lives and private property. Thomas Jefferson echoed this sentiment:
"Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual."
Locke also explains why he views liberty as the morally superior state of man:
"...for men being all the workmanship of one omnipotent, and infinitely wise maker; all the servants of one sovereign master, sent into the world by his order, and about his business; they are his property, whose workmanship they are, made to last during his, not one another's pleasure: and being furnished with like faculties, sharing all in one community of nature, there cannot be supposed any such subordination among us, that may authorize us to destroy one another, as if we were made for one another's uses, as the inferior ranks of creatures are for ours."
It is improper for any man to be subordinate to another, because we are all God's creation, and share equally in his image. Remember this the next time the petty tyrants of our bureaucracy lecture, regulate, and enforce the choices that are rightfully yours as a free man bearing the image of the Most High.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Jefferson

I'd like to share a few quotes from the author of the Declaration of Independence and third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. This is the epitome of the founding generation, and encapsulates perfectly their ideas regarding individual liberty:
"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government."
"All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression."
"Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny."
"Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear."
"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it."
"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government."
"No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms."
"When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty."
"Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual."

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Freedom of Religion

Today was my sister's wedding. It was held in the ruins of St. Philip's Church at the Brunswick Town historical site near Wilmington, NC. The town, including the church, was burned to the ground by British forces in 1776 during the American Revolution. Today, the brick walls of the church are the only above ground remains of the town; the wedding service was held on folding chairs set up in the grass that grows where the church floor once sat.

While it was wonderful to witness my sister's wedding, and equally enjoyable to see family I rarely see, I could not make it through the day without pondering non-family issues, and in this case I was struck by the background behind the church. The North Carolina Historic Sites website has a write-up on the history of the building, which includes this tidbit:
"It took many decades and a great deal of effort to build St. Philips Church. The original bill was passed in 1729 that ordered the building of the church of new Hanover County to be at Brunswick Town." 
The construction of the church was not undertaken as a private effort but was instead ordered by the New Hanover County government. This is not surprising, as the church was, for most colonial settlements, the center of social life, and many states had official religions, or at least had very close ties between the local government and dominant denomination.

On a seemingly unrelated topic, I have also been following with interest two recent court cases, one in Indiana, and the other in Kentucky, related to the 4th Amendment, which protects against unlawful search and seizure. In both cases (one heard by the IL supreme court, the other by the US supreme court), the fourth amendment was applied to local authorities, continuing a long practice of incorporating state and local governments into the bill of rights.

Here is where the two seemingly unrelated points come together - the Bill of Rights was intended to place restrictions on the power of the federal government, and was not meant to limit state power. Specifically, the establishment clause ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...") was meant to allay the fears of states with officially established churches. These states feared that the federal government may step in and declare a national church other than their preferred denomination. It was never intended to bar the partnership between individual states and religious institutions - it was meant to protect those partnerships.

The next time that the Supreme Court makes a ruling on the constitutionality of a law or government action undertaken by a state, realize that, weather you support the particular law or not, you are seeing state sovereignty being eroded in favor of an unstoppable central authority.

Hubris

Over the last two plus years, president Obama has shown that he is above all a pedagogic narcissist. He will never miss an opportunity to tell others how best to run their lives. In his latest speech regarding the makeup of the middle east, he told Israel that they should retreat to their pre-1967 borders, which would include abandoning the Golan Heights, a region which gives them a defensive advantage against their Syrian neighbors. He also called for a continuous Palestinian state. In case you are unaware of the geographic locations of current Palestinian holdings in Gaza and the West Bank, making these regions continuous would split Israel in half. Apparently a continuous Palestinian state is more important than a continuous Israeli state.

I have a number of objections to Obama's speech, but the point I want to make here is that once again, our president is lecturing others (in this case a nation with which we have a long-standing friendship) about how they should behave. This latest example can be added to a growing list, including telling the American people what kind of cars they should drive, private industry what kind of products they should produce and where they can be produced, health care providers what kind of procedures they should perform, and the list goes on and on. Israel should feel blessed, because apparently Obama the magnificent loves them just as much as he loves America; enough to tell them all of the things that will make them acceptable in his sight.

I hate to keep beating a dead horse, but the United States was founded in the idea of liberty. According to the founders, citizens of the U.S. should be free to do as they pleased, as long as it did not harm the liberty of others. And U.S. foreign policy was the same: other nations were free to do as they pleased, as long as it did not harm the liberty of the citizens of the U.S. It is past time for us to return to this ideal, and relegate busybodies like Obama to the dustbin of history.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

International Law

The International Criminal Court will issue arrest warrants for three senior Libyan officials within the next few days. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi will presumably be among them:
"Court prosecutors said earlier Sunday that they are putting the final touches to their case against three Libyan leaders on charges of murder and persecution in the brutal crackdown on anti-government rebels. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is expected to be among them."
My gut tells me that most people will see this as a positive thing, because Gadhafi is a Bad Man. However, I think that, for anyone interested in the larger issue of liberty, this situation should give pause for a number of reasons.

First, the American ideal is founded on the belief that the legitimacy of a governmental body is grounded in the consent of the governed. From our own Declaration of Independence:
"...That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..." 
Libya is not a State Party to the Rome Statue, which established the court, nor does it recognize the legitimacy of the court:
"Speaking in a late-night discussion with reporters in the Libyan capital, Khaled Kaim said his government will 'not show any attention to the decision.'
He says Libya doesn't recognize the jurisdiction of the international court, nor do most African countries." 
Therefore, in order to support this action by the ICC, one must support the idea that the sovereign nation of Libya has no right to decide weather or not to be party to an international agreement.

Second, the ICC claims global authority and jurisdiction. The founders of this country believed that centralization of authority was a bad thing, because centralized authority, regardless of its original intentions, always tends towards authoritarianism and abuse of power. Supporters of liberty are also supporters of small, decentralized, sovereign states, because we believe that this results in the greatest freedom, liberty, and self-determination for the human race. After all, in a world full of small, independent states, if you don't like the policies of your nation, you have the opportunity to 'vote with your feet.' But if you oppose a body that claims global jurisdiction, where the hell are you supposed to go?

Third, I would fully expect that people who support prosecution of Gadhafi by the ICC would vehemently denounce attempts by the ICC to arrest and prosecute former president George Bush. And yet, there are efforts being made to do just that. If you support the ICC's right to prosecute Gadhafi, you have to support their right to prosecute Bush as well.

This is not intended to be an endorsement of Gadhafi or his actions, but a caution regarding what we support regarding those we dislike. As I have written before, the American people have a bad habit of throwing liberty out the window when it results in short-term political gains.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Economically Illiterate

The title of this post is a little misleading, because I do not believe that Barack Obama is economically illiterate; I think that he knows exactly what he is doing. It's just that what he is doing has nothing to do with fostering American prosperity. But to the main point: during a town-hall meeting on Wednesday, President Obama called on businesses to 'step up' and hire more workers:
"It is time for companies to step up...American taxpayers contributed to that process of stabilizing the economy. Companies have benefited from that, and they're making a lot of money, and now's the time for them to start betting on American workers and American products."
What the President doesn't realize (or realizes, but hopes we don't), is that unlike the government, companies cannot just hire workers in order to bring the unemployment rate down. Companies are after something called profit, which occurs when the amount received for goods and services exceeds the cost of doing business. The amount received for goods and services depends on the demand for that good or service, which influences both quantity required and asking price. Companies base staffing and wages based on how much of something they have a market for, and how much it sells for. I realize that I have an MBA and 11 years in the manufacturing world, while the President went to law school and then did nothing productive, but I'm pretty sure he has the capacity to grasp the concept.

Aside from ignoring the laws of economics, Obama also does what he does best - denigrate the private sector while offering a thinly veiled threat. Note how he points out that companies benefited from taxpayer money, and therefore now have a duty to hire workers. Based on these comments, I fully expect that we will shortly be hearing about even more federal regulation designed to destroy the private sector, but sold to the public as government helping business to do the right thing.

Of course, if you do work in the private sector, it's only because you aren't doing something really important:
"Let me just first of all say that workers like you, for the federal, state, and local governments, are so important for our vital services. And it frustrates me sometimes when people talk about ‘government jobs’ as if somehow those are worth less than private sector jobs. I think there is nothing more important than working on behalf of the American people." (emphasis mine)
That's right - all you suckers toiling away in manufacturing, banking, forestry, farming, etc. are second-class citizens in Obama's world. In his mind, it's the government workers that are really important; the other riff-raff just exists to fund the important work the bureaucrats are doing.

This is why I don't think Obama is just incompetent - when he lets the mask slip, he shows that what he really values is government control over every facet of life, and his promise to 'fundamentally transform' this nation is exactly what he is doing.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

C'mon Baby Light My Fire

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." - Amendment 10 to the United States Constitution

Not surprisingly, the U.S. constitution makes no mention of light bulbs, or of Congress' authority to regulate them. And yet, Congress did just that in 2007. By the year 2014, it will be illegal to sell incandescent bulbs in the United States.

In order to justify this blatant overreach of constitutional powers, Congress typically relies on the commerce clause, which gives Congress the power to "regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes." Over the past 220 years, this clause has been used to justify any law that Congress decides to pass, since today, nearly all economic activity takes place across state lines.

However, the state of South Carolina has decided to fight back. In a new law that just passed through the state senate, light bulbs manufactured in South Carolina for use in South Carolina will be exempted from the federal law:
"As early as Tuesday, the South Carolina House will begin debating a bill that would allow companies to manufacture incandescent bulbs in South Carolina as long as they stamp them "Made in South Carolina" and sell them only within the state. Supporters of the bill say the federal government would have no authority to intervene because its power to regulate business extends only to commerce that crosses state lines."
This is similar to a law passed in Montana in 2009 that exempted firearms and ammunition manufactured in Montana for sale and use exclusively in Montana from federal firearms laws. It seems that states are finally starting to wake up and realize that the ever-expanding behemoth in D.C. is strangling this once-free nation.

This is why the rule of law is so important. The writers of the Constitution had no intention of our federal government having the influence that it does today. What we have done is ignored the Constitution's intent and the enumerated powers in favor of interpretations that allow us to do whatever the current political climate will allow. Over 220 years, all that has been accomplished is regular erosion of state sovereignty and individual freedom. Here is hoping that these small rejections of federal overreach become a movement that will sweep the Leviathan into the Potomac.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Pragmatism

For an example of all that is wrong with the Republican party today, look no further than Hugh Hewitt's analysis of the May 5 Republican hopeful debate in South Carolina. The primary point of his analysis is that the Republican leadership needs to step in and decide who is and is not an 'acceptable' candidate for the nomination, and blacklist everyone else:
"This is why the GOP needs to rethink its debate schedule and why the RNC should take over the operation of the debates and exile Cain, Johnson and Paul as well as every other candidate without a prayer of winning.  (Santorum is a long shot, but he has a realistic though small chance of winning the nomination, while the others do not.)  The seriousness of the fiscal crisis requires the GOP and its candidates to act seriously, and allowing marginal candidates to eat up time and distract from the enormous problems facing the country is not serious."
I used to be a Hewitt fan, and I still believe that his book "In, But Not Of" is a great primer for young Christians that want to impact the world in a meaningful way. But in this analysis, he demonstrates yet again that he is not a conservative, or a defender of classical liberties, but a win-at-all-costs GOP hack.

As I have written before, I believe that our debt crisis and loss of liberties are connected, and together represent the greatest threat to the American ideal. Hewitt makes passing comments related to our fiscal mess, but his solution? Let the GOP 'top-tier' candidates fix it:
"When the first tier of GOP candidates gather to discuss how to begin to fix the mess we are in, the voters deserve to hear the problems and the solutions fairly and fully talked through, and done without the interruption of the 1%ers with agendas unrelated to defeating President Obama in November, 2012."
Here, Hewitt shows exactly what his priority is, and why you should never take anyone like him seriously. His priority is to beat Obama in 2012, and put a Republican in the White House. Any Republican will do, it seems. And all of the riff-raff and rabble with their impolitic views regarding liberty and fiscal responsibility should have the good sense to shut up and let the big boys talk, or else they should be silenced by the establishment.

Folks, we are in serious trouble, and only radical ideas will save us. If those radical ideas can't get anyone elected, then it doesn't really matter, because the leftists and 'pragmatic' Republicans will take us straight to hell, regardless of which party is in the White House.

Via Jeff Goldstein at protein wisdom

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Rule of Law

Throughout most of human history, people have lived under what became known as the 'divine right of kings.' This political philosophy held that the supreme leader was sent by whatever god or gods the nation worshiped, and as a result could do no wrong. In this system, the word of the king is law.

There have been brief lapses in this form of government, notably in ancient Greece, where the city-states of Sparta and Athens practiced a form of direct democracy; late medieval England under the Magna Carta; and of course the original Constitutional government formed by the founders of the United States. These governments broke tradition by being founded in the rule of law, which states that all people, regardless of position, are to be held to the same legal standards.

I believe that we are at risk of losing the rule of law, and like many great losses, it will leave with a whisper, not a shout. We are at risk of losing this principle as a result of political partisanship, where the leaders of our chosen party are the kings who can do no wrong, and the leaders of the other party can do no right. We gladly throw away our liberties, just so long as it will stick it to the guy on the other side of the aisle.

For example, when concerns initially surfaced regarding Iran's nuclear program, there were pundits on the right who advocated U.S. military intervention in Iran. Senator Joe Biden made it clear this would not happen on his watch:
"I want to make it clear, I want it on the record, and I want to make it clear, if he does [invade Iran], as chairman of the foreign relations committee and former chair of the judiciary committee, I will move to impeach him."
And yet when his boss unilaterally attacks Libya without so much as Congressional consult? Absolute silence. The media is also willing to jump on this bandwagon, smearing those they do not like, and then praising their guys for the exact same thing. Media jackass Keith Olbermann referred to SEAL team six (the guys who killed bin Laden) as Dick Cheney's assassination squad, but then praised Barack Obama's use of them as, well, an assassination squad:
"There is right now, only one oversimplification that matters anymore: Barack Obama got Osama Bin Laden. And every other political calculation, every strategy that suggests Democratic weakness or liberal uncertainty is...as dead as Bin Laden."
And lest I be accused of only picking on leftists, let's take a look at the Patriot Act. This pile of authoritarian garbage, put together by the party of liberty and small government, allows unwarranted search and seizures, indefinite detentions, and a number of other violations of the first, fourth, and sixth amendments. So-called conservatives were all for it, too, since their party held both houses of Congress and the Presidency.

Most of us are guilty of this behavior, even if it is on a smaller scale. We attribute good and pure motives to those we like and agree with, and negative motives to those we do not. The problem is, when we do this with our leaders, it allows them to behave as kings, flaunting the rule of law in favor of (often misled) popular opinion. And we let it happen when it is our guy, even though those actions are illegal or immoral, because the end is something we agree with. Problem is, when the other side is in charge, they do the same thing, and then we bitch about it.

It is only within the framework of a society committed to liberty and intellectual integrity and honesty that the rule of law can survive. And it is only the rule of law that allows us to be free from bondage to a king.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Thou Shalt Not Kill...

So, Osama bin Laden is dead at the hands of a Navy SEAL team, and across the country today, Americans are celebrating. But should we really be joyful that a fellow human being is dead? I have seen some in the Christian community that question this reaction, and one popular reason given is the sixth commandment, quoted as "thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13, KJV). In order for this to be an intellectually honest and logically coherent argument, however, two things must be true:

  1. The quote "thou shalt not kill" is a proper translation of the original material.
  2. The Bible unequivocally condemns the killing of humans by humans.
The first point is easily dispatched. In the King James Version, Exodus 20:13 is translated "thou shalt not kill," but in most other English versions, the word 'kill' is replaced by the word 'murder'. This difference is crucial, because while all murders involve killing, not all killing is murder (that is why we have two different words). To kill is to take the life of a living thing, while murder is commonly defined as the purposeful taking of a human life without proper justification. Therefore, the entire argument rests on point #2. In order to make the argument that all killing is forbidden by the sixth commandment, you must show that the bible, in all cases, condemns the killing of humans by humans. Here are just a few situations where this does not hold up (all taken from the Amplified Bible):

  • The bible permits capital punishment: "Whoever kills any person [intentionally], the murderer shall be put to death on the testimony of witnesses; but no one shall be put to death on the testimony of one witness." - Numbers 35:30
  • The bible permits war: "Now go and smite Amalek and utterly destroy all they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and donkey." - 1 Samuel 15:3
  • The bible permits political assassination: "But when the Israelites cried to the Lord, the Lord raised them up a deliverer, Ehud son of Gera, a Benjamite, a left-handed man; and by him the Israelites sent tribute to Eglon king of Moab...Then Ehud put forth his left hand and took the sword from his right thigh and thrust it into Eglon's belly." - Judges 3:15, 21
There are many more examples, but this is enough to show that God allows the taking of human life, even premeditated, in certain circumstances. Therefore, in order for our understanding of the bible to be consistent, we cannot say that the sixth commandment prohibits killing, only that it prohibits murder.

So, is it appropriate to celebrate bin Laden's death? This is a trickier question. To celebrate his death because he 'got what he deserved' puts the Christian in a difficult position, because scripture teaches us that we all deserve death and hell. We also should be concerned about the way this attitude affects how we view those who, even in evil actions, are human. However, to be happy that a man who visited death and destruction upon our countrymen and other innocents around the world is no longer here to share the planet with us is certainly justified. In other words, be happy that justice has been served, but with a realization that it is only God's grace that keeps us from what we deserve.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

God's Will is Liberty

As I've mentioned before, one of my bad habits is getting into arguments on the internet. In one such exchange, I took exception to the statement that anyone who opposes our current overbearing government must be against schools and roads. A little further into the argument, I was told that it was my Christian duty to support high taxation and wealth redistribution because Jesus commands us to give all we have to the poor. This is, of course, an example of the red herring fallacy, as it is intended to redirect the conversation away from fiscal sanity and into a religious argument. Aside from this, the argument is flawed in a number of ways (all quotes from the New International Version):

First, the New Testament makes it clear that giving is to be done voluntarily:
"Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:7
Christians are expected to give, and give generously, but of our own free will. Having money stolen from our paycheck robs us not only of our wages, but of the ability to give of our own accord.

Second, federal tax dollars are used for things that are in direct contradiction to Christian convictions. Each year, Planned Parenthood, a corrupt organization that provides abortion services, is given $300 million by the federal government. Hundreds of millions are also poured into an educational system that promotes premarital sex, homosexuality, and a naturalistic view of human origin and development.

In fact, the Bible is fairly clear that an intrusive, overbearing government is a bad thing. In the book of Judges, a lack of government is described in favorable terms:
"At that time the Israelites left that place and went home to their tribes and clans, each to his own inheritance. In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit." Judges 21:24-25
Like us, Israel grew tired of its freedom, however, and begged God for a king. In His infinite wisdom, He warned them against the evils of an all-powerful state:
"This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the LORD will not answer you in that day." 1 Samuel 8:11-18
God wants us to be charitable, but He also wants us to give willingly. More importantly, he wants us to be free.